(My friend Amy, pouring sherry into my bone luge).
As the mother of a boisterous 4-year-old child, when it comes to date night with my husband, the absolute last thing I want to do is go somewhere that I could otherwise be found dining with my kid. Don’t get me wrong, I spend many an evening eating out with my miniature date, skimming menus for grilled cheese and fries, but when it comes to date night I want ambience, grownup food, and wine. Thus enters Metrovino and its award-winning chef, Greg Denton.
We hit up MV around 6 o’clock on a Tuesday evening, and finding the bar area full of happy hour patrons, were deftly seated for dinner in the near-empty dining room.
Our über-helpful server quickly took our drink orders (rosé bubbly for me, Malbec for the hubs) while we studied the menu. Impressed by the imaginative options and reasonable pricing, we quickly decided to start with Ken’s Artisan Bread plate ($3), the Humboldt Fog cheese ($9), and an order of bone marrow ($10). We were hungry, and we were not to be disappointed.
The warm, fresh artisan bread was devoured as quickly as it arrived with each bite generously slathered in the aesthetically pleasing and perfectly seasoned grilled leeks and olive oil. The Humboldt Fog quickly followed with the creamy/crumbly sheep’s milk cheese surrounded by complimenting palate pleasers including smoky-spiced honey and a pungently sweet balsamic fig puree so good I still regret not licking the plate.
Our bone marrow came piping hot and sprinkled with red onion, parsley and accompanied by a spicy horseradish sauce, crunchy grilled artisan bread, and a hint of tangy (citrus?) oil that elevated the flavor of the entire dish. The silky marrow melted in our mouths and combined with the freshness of the parsley…oh my GOD. We used the emptied bones to “luge” the house recommended sherry from the glass to our lips, which cut the fat and saltiness of the marrow with a sweetness that created a mouthgasm. You heard me.
By the time we reached the salad course we were filling up (all that bread!) but forged ahead with an order of the ginger-marinated grilled lamb shoulder salad ($14) for me, and the smoked trout and P.B.R. braised pork belly ($13) for my husband.
The cool, creamy smoked trout came laced with fresh dill and plated atop layered warm new potatoes and pork belly. My lamb dish was tender and delicious with wilted, dressed radicchio, and was so tempting my husband ate half. (I allowed it).
In a nutshell:
I have not met a single unimpressive item on this entire menu. My only caution would be that if you want to order an entree, take it easy on the starters so that you at least have enough room to sample the confit of moulard duck or grass fed bavette steak. Kids are “welcome” but I would leave them at home. Reservations are your friend.
Must have: The bone marrow. Do the bone luge and snap a photo for boneluge.com. Let the server know ahead of time that you would like to take the bones home for your dog. Win, win, win.
Watch out for: Spendy wine prices. Everything on the menu has a suggested wine pairing, so if you are trying not to break the bank you may want to peek at the wine prices before ordering.
If you’re on a budget: Hit happy hour with a friend and split a few small plates (the charcuterie plate is a steal for $3). Try one of their affordable wine flights or go with the house selected $5 white, red or bubbles.